PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — After a rough ending to senior year, Bobby Tasca was looking forward to his first year at Providence College and, despite the restrictions, he tells 12 News it started off well.
But last week, a significant uptick in COVID-19 cases among PC students forced the school to go fully remote.
With the spike in cases, Bobby opted to return to his home in Cranston after testing negative for COVID-19, rather than remain on campus and risk getting stuck there.
“I definitely think that there’s some level of disappointment,” he said.
Bobby tells 12 News he and his two roommates were already settled in on campus and were enjoying their college experience.
“We put our LED lights up, we put our flags up, we moved our furniture around three times,” he said. “It’s nothing like high school, you’re on your own.”
He said he was with his roommates when they received the email last week that all in person classes were cancelled.
“That whole night was kind of nerve-wracking, because we were all looking at each other thinking, ‘Is this the last night we’re all going to live together?'” he recalled.
The college placed all students under a stay-at-home order, meaning students living on campus students couldn’t leave and students living off campus weren’t allowed to visit.
“It was definitely a for real moment, when everything got shut down,” Bobby said.
What ultimately influenced Bobby’s decision to move back home was his job at the car dealership his family owns.
He said he didn’t want to forfeit the job he loves by being stuck on campus.
While moving back home wasn’t what he was expecting to do, especially so early into the school year, he admitted there are some perks.
“It’s good getting home cooked meals, I do like that,” he said.
Bobby has been trying to find the silver lining in the situation, because he’s seen the impact the virus firsthand. He said his father, Race Car Driver Bob Tasca, contracted COVID-19 over the summer.
“He went to the hospital, he wasn’t on a respirator, but it was really bad,” Bobby said. “I think after that moment with my dad, I kind of realized that me missing out on senior year and getting a part-time freshman at college … you’ve got to learn to accept it.”
“I’d rather be in that position then get someone sick that I know or watch someone suffer, because of me wanting to have fun my freshman year,” he continued.
PC plans to reassess the situation at the end of the week and make a decision on whether students can return to campus in person or if the remainder of the semester will be held remotely.
Several local legislators are calling upon the college to cancel all in person classes for the rest of the semester to prevent further spread.
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